History & Celebrations Today – February 15

Celebrations Today – February 15

Holidays and observances

Celebrations Today – USA: February 15

National Gumdrop Day
Singles Awareness Day
National Hippo Day
National I Want Butterscotch Day
National Remember the Maine Day
National St. Skeletor’s Day
Susan B. Anthony Day

Today in US History: February 15

Remember the Maine!

U.S.S. Maine ca. 1897
U.S.S. Maine, circa 1897.
Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company, 1880-1920

U.S.S. Maine wreck
Restos del U.S.S. Maine, Habana
[Wreck of the U.S.S. Maine],
William Henry Jackson, photographer, circa 1900.
Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company, 1880-1920

On February 15, 1898, an explosion of unknown origin sank the battleship U.S.S. Maine in the Havana, Cuba harbor, killing 266 of the 354 crew members. The sinking of the Maine incited United States’ passions against Spain, eventually leading to a naval blockade of Cuba and a declaration of war.

Ostensibly on a friendly visit, the Maine had been sent to Cuba to protect the interests of Americans there after riots broke out in Havana in January. An official U.S. Naval Court of Inquiry reported on March 28 that the ship, one of the first American battleships and built at a cost of more than two million dollars, had been blown up by a mine without laying blame on any person or nation in particular, but public opinion in the United States blamed the Spanish military occupying Cuba anyway. Subsequent diplomatic communications failed to resolve the matter, leading to the start of the Spanish-American War by the end of April.

Film Clip
Burial of the “Maine” Victims, March 27, 1898.
The Spanish-American War in Motion Pictures

The Spanish-American War is notable as the first U.S. war documented by the motion picture camera. The Edison Manufacturing Company, for example, sent cameraman William Paley to Key West, Florida, where he filmed Burial of the “Maine” Victims on March 27, 1898. In late March he also filmed the Wreck of the Battleship “Maine” in the Havana harbor, and in late April and early May of that year he filmed, in Florida, military preparations for the war. A special “War Extra,” issued on May 20, 1898, as a supplement to the Edison Manufacturing Company catalog, promised that these motion pictures “would be sure to satisfy the craving of the general public for absolutely true and accurate details regarding the movements of the United States Army getting ready for the invasion of Cuba.”

Today in History – February 15-External Links

Today’s Weather in History
Today in Earthquake History
This Day in Naval History
Today’s Document from the National Archives
Today’s Events, Births & Deaths –Wikipedia
Today in History by AP
On this Day -1950 to 2005 – Today’s Story–BBC
On This Day: The New York Times
This Day in History –History.com
Today in Canadian History – Canada Channel
History of Britain that took place On This Day
Russia in History –Russiapedia